Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take Me with You When You Go!

Snowbirds are abundant in the winter here on the grounds of MasterWorksStudios where John does his bronze sculpture restoration. I have been meaning to write about them since November when they first appeared but have not gotten around to it. On Sunday as I looked out my back door near our thistle feeder where John always "accidently" spills some seed on the deck so the birds have a little "extra" treat", there was one sitting there staring back at me. He waited patiently while I went and got my camera and held his frontal pose so I could explain how he got his name.

Actually the scientific name of the bird is "Northern Junco" and there are actually a couple fun theories how they got dubbed the "snow" bird. My favorite one takes into account that the birds are mostly ground feeders and that the lower part of their chest and body is white. Put this together with the fact that they come here only in the winter and you get the conclusion that the snow "stained" those feathers white"! Another popular theory is based on the fact that they come here from the north where there is lots of snow. Even though they do sometimes winter as far south as the Gulf states their breeding range is much farther north in the cooler climates of Canada and higher elevations of our northeast US.

Anyway, the thing the bird reminds me of the most is that old Anne Murray song that goes somethingn like "Oh little snowbird take me with you when you that land of gentle breezes blah blah blah they warmly blow..." Sounds nice doesn't it? "Yes, if I could you know that I would fly y y yy...away with you!!!!!"
Don't worry, spring is almost here!